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3rd ID casualties identified
Five soldiers die in helicopter crash, 2 killed by gunfire
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Five U.S. soldiers killed Tuesday in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that crashed in southern Afghanistan were assigned to the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, which is based at Hunter Army Airfield, said Maj. Gen. Robert “Abe” Abrams, 3rd Infantry Division commander and commanding general of the International Security Assistance Force’s Regional Command-South.

In a webcast interview with the Pentagon Press Corps on Wednesday, Abrams began his remarks by expressing his condolences to the families of the 3rd ID soldiers who were killed in the crash as well as the family of Staff Sgt. Rex L. Schad. Schad, who had served with the 3rd ID’s 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, and Capt. Andrew Pedersen-Keel were killed Monday when an Afghan police officer turned his weapon on U.S. and Afghan soldiers. Pedersen-Keel was a Special Forces soldier assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C.

“There is an ongoing investigation of the crash,” Abrams said. “What I can tell you is they were conducting routine night-goggles training in a local training area. The recovery team did a magnificent job covering the aircraft and our fallen heroes.”
According to a statement released by the Pentagon through Reuters on Tuesday, there was no report of enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash. The statement also noted that helicopter crashes are “not uncommon” in Afghanistan, and enemy forces often claim to have shot down the aircraft.

Read more in the March 16 edition of the News.

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